Marty Felt, CEO for NAOS Entertainment of Greenville, said it doesn’t look like the proposed $7.5 million state-of-the-art theater will become a reality for the city.
“Unfortunately, unless the economy changes, it’s not going to happen in the near future,” Felts said Friday.
In 2007, city officials announced a movie theater was coming to Pell City. Local residents waited, but there was delay after delay, and the construction never materialized.
“We own the property and have paid for it,” Felts said of the theater site on Vaughan Road.
According to an agreement reached with the Pell City Commercial Development Authority and the Greenville company, NAOS has until August to deliver on a theater or come up with the money the city spent to prepare the site.
“To my knowledge, there are no penalties,” Felts said. “We are committed to looking for partners to start the venture.”
In accordance with a lease/purchase agreement, NAOS paid $632,996 for the theater site in the Bankhead Marketplace commercial development.
While Felts said NAOS will not owe any penalties, Mayor Bill Hereford said the company could owe the city a substantial amount of money for the infrastructure and site work.
Former city attorney Kyle Barrentine said last year that NAOS has until Aug. 13, 2010, to open the theater or the company could be forced to reimburse the city for the site work completed on the commercial property.
“The amount for site work is substantial,” Barrentine said.
He said more than $100,000 was spent on preparing the site.
The proposed theater was supposed to have digital sound, 3-D technology and stadium seating with 12-inch risers.
The eight-screen movie theater was supposed to seat 160-250 people, according to plans presented to the city council in 2007.
“We really want to see a movie theater complex here in Pell City,” Hereford said. “We will continue to pursue a movie theater. It remains on our priority list.”